EON Reality in Irvine, Calif., a short drive from Disneyland, has been quietly developing and selling virtual reality software for 13 years.

«When 3-D movies arrived at the local cinema, it [finally] became easier for people to grasp what our products do,» says Brita Kjallstrom, global marketing director.

Scuba diving among the sharks along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a breathtakingly immersive experience. It’s also dangerous and expensive. But exploring a virtual ocean and coming nose to nose with a real-looking shark is a viable alternative. That, in a nutshell, has been the promise of virtual reality over the years — it could put us in an artificial environment that feels entirely real, without getting our feet wet.

Eon’s iCube is probably the best example of current VR capabilities. The iCube consists of three to six walls in a 10-by-10-foot room with projectors aimed at each wall and a ceiling projector aimed at the floor.

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